2448 E. Burnside St., Kerns
There aren’t enough superlatives for Tusk, the Middle Eastern–inspired spot from Luke Dirks and chef Joshua McFadden (the duo behind Ava Gene’s) and chef Sam Smith. As we sat at the corner bar seat and sipped a turmeric ginger bourbon cocktail and ate whipped hummus finished with Turkish chili pepper, we thought, How could it get better than this? Then the grilled eggplant arrived, savory and sweet, topped with green chermoula. The chicken skewer with yogurt and Aleppo pepper followed. And then the buttery black cod with Italian heirloom broccoli and fennel. And that’s when we knew we were having one of those meals that we’d remember for decades. Photos courtesy of AJ Meeker.
Bamboo Sushi SE
310 S.E. 28th Ave., Kerns
Bamboo Sushi has four locations spread among Portland's quadrants: SW, NW, NE, and SE. Each location varies slightly; they all have a casual vibe and really good sushi (in addition to hot Japanese dishes). You can make table reservations but seats at the sushi bar (always fun) are first come first serve. What makes Bamboo different than most other sushi restaurants is that they take a lot of steps to be as sustainable as possible. For example: They don't serve fish from endangered populations; their seafood is caught by fishermen who operate under environmentally ethical principles; and their meat comes from ranches in Oregon/Idaho, and is grass-fed, hormone-free, and free-range. Bamboo Sushi uses renewable energy sources, reusable teak wood chopsticks, biodegradable to-go containers, and so on.
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